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Mr. Smarty Plants - Viability of Cupressus macrocarpa in Arvada, Colorado

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Monday - October 06, 2008

From: Arvada, CO
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Trees
Title: Viability of Cupressus macrocarpa in Arvada, Colorado
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Can I plant lemon cypress in Arvada CO, zone 5, as landscaping plant? Can't find zone information.

ANSWER:

The Lemon Cypress is a cultivar called Goldcrest, or Golden Crest, of Cupressus macrocarpa (Monterey cypress). You can read more about the tree from Plants for a Future, Floridata.com and from the Florida Cooperative Extension Service. Here are some intructions for outdoor care from ShootGardening and you can find care instructions for indoor Cupressus macrocarpa at indoor-plant-care.com and from the TopiaryShop.  It is a native of California and tremendously susceptible to a canker that kills the tree, especially if it is planted away from cool, coastal breezes.

From the Plants for a Future website, above, we finally found the hardiness zone for this tree. It is only hardy to Zone 8, so it's doubtful it would have a chance in Zone 5. Furthermore, some of the references we saw said it was not recommended for planting, period, probably because it does have problems away from its natural habitat. It occurs naturally only in two groves in Monterey Bay on the central coast of California, and is nearly extinct in the wild. It is, however, being widely grown in warm temperate and subtropical regions worldwide. We don't much think that includes Arvada, Colorado. 

Pictures of Cupressus macrocarpa (Monterey cypress)

 

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